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Urban renewal project Esch Belval : From Luxembourg’s largest steelworks to a dynamic mixed-use city quarter

For several decades Esch/Belval, a development site about 20 kilometres southwest of Luxembourg-City, was home to the country’s largest steel plant. Today only a few remnants of the factory buildings are left. The site is developing into a modern city quarter with new economic, cultural and residential activities aimed at stimulating growth in the entire South Region.

Belval is located close to the French border, adjacent to the municipalities of Esch-sur-Alzette (about 30 000 inhabitants, second largest city in Luxembourg) and Sanem (approx. 15 000 inhabitants). With a surface of 120 ha it represents one of the biggest and most ambitious urban renewal projects in Europe to date. Upon completion, the whole quarter will have up to 5 000 inhabitants and 20 000 employees. 120 000 square meters of gross floor area for office, retail and housing use are being realised. The two blast furnaces along with some adjacent buildings will be preserved and integrated into the new city quarter. Thus they constitute the landmarks of Belval and serve as a reminder of the region’s industrial past. 

Funding of the urban renewal  project

The Belval Master plan was developed by Jo Coenen Architects from Maastricht. Two development agencies, Agora and Fonds Belval, were created to bring this project into being. The planned investments amount to approximately 1 billion Euros of which more than 50 per cent is allocated to the Cité des Sciences, the eastern part of the Belval project. 

From steel production to knowledge production

The new city quarter benefits from a major state programme to decentralise certain administrative functions and to develop new cultural institutions such as the Rockhall. 

In 2005, the national Parliament decided to build a completely new university campus in Belval and to move two of the three faculties of the University of Luxembourg to the area, as well as other public research institutions and a start-up centre. The relocation is planned to take place in 2014/2015. 7500 students and 3000 employees will study and work on the new campus.

Development Agencies’ contact details:


3, avenue du Rock'n'Roll

L-4361 Esch-sur-Alzette


E-Mail :


Le Fonds Belval

1, avenue du Rock'n'Roll

L-4361 Esch-sur-Alzette



Website | Project Fonds Belval Luxembourg (public buildings)

Website | Belval (private buildings)